The city’s slogan is “Make it Makati”, and it couldn’t be more appropriate. Makati isn’t just the country’s financial center, it’s also a hub for fashion, food, and shopping. There are also several hotels you can stay in as you check out the many attractions the city has to offer.
If you’re a looking to spend the long weekend luxuriating, there couldn’t be a better choice than Makati. From malls to museums to monuments, it’s easy to make the decision to have a staycation in Makati.
Makati doesn’t have an airport, but it is near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. You can choose to head on over to the MRT Taft Station and then get off at Ayala Station. However, Makati is close enough to the airport that it wouldn’t hurt your budget that much if you decide to take a cab.
If you’re flying in from a different part of the country, why not book through Traveloka? We offer discounts on flights as well as hotel rooms.
Makati is the country’s financial district, so a lot of the hotels you find here tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t hotels to fit different price points. Mid-range hotels for businessmen and families are also available, as well as hostels for backpackers. Here are some of the hotels we think you should check out:
Shopping on your staycation agenda? No finer choice than the Ascott Makati. This 5-star hotel is directly attached to Glorietta, one of the malls that make up the Ayala Center. From Glorietta, you can easily walk to two other malls: Landmark and Greenbelt. If you’re all shopped out, the Ascott has a spa on the 7th floor and a swimming pool on the 6th, so you can luxuriate and recuperate.
Any self-respecting foodie knows of Poblacion, the city’s food district and home to several exciting restaurants. The A.Venue Hotel is a 3-star accommodation right in the heart of that area, so you can have your staycation there if you plan on fully exploring Poblacion. If you’re looking to work off all that food you’ve eaten in Poblacion, the hotel has four pools you can take a dip in as well.
3. I’M Hotel
This 5-star hotel is a new player, but it’s already creating a lot of buzz. Also located in Poblacion, I’M Hotel boasts of having the first and only Onsen Spa in the metro, which makes it perfect for some long weekend pampering. It’s also got two restaurants and three bars, so if you don’t want to explore Poblacion, you can also eat your fill at I’M.
Food and drink
As the country’s financial center, Makati draws in a lot of foreign business. As such, it’s also spawned a lot of restaurants that cater to the many nationalities that have made Makati their home. It’s also home to Poblacion, where there are restaurants for many kinds of tastes. Here are some suggestions on where to eat during your Makati City staycation:
1. Le Petit Souffle
Located at the fourth floor of the Century City Mall, Le Petit Souffle is a French and Japanese-inspired cafe that serves pasta, pancakes, and souffles, to start with. If you’re craving matcha, they have several matcha items on the menu, ranging from pancakes to parfaits. If you’ve got the time to spare, try out any of the three souffles they have on the menu. One souffle takes 25 minutes to make, though, so make sure you have time for it on your schedule.
2. La Cabrera Grillado and Bar
Looking to add more protein to your diet? This Argentinian steakhouse in Makati’s 6750 building specializes in thick and juicy steaks. If you’re looking for something a little less heavy, they also have pasta and provoletas (grilled Provolone cheese platter). The Rogel De Dulce De Leche — layers of biscuit and Argentine dulce de leche topped with meringue — is also a must-try.
3. Royal Indian Curry House
You may have a preconceived notion of what Indian food is like, and the Royal Indian Curry House in Poblacion is here to disabuse you of those notions. It’s got five floors of entertainment and dining areas, and a menu that isn’t just curry, despite the name. Aside from the curry, try their Tandorri Chicken and Hyderabadi Biryani.
Located in Greenbelt 5, Ganso-Shabuway is a Japanese style hot pot that offers all-natural grass fed beef, fresh produce and other hot pot toppings. Every serving also comes with unlimited rice, soup refills and dipping sauces, so you can really fill up.
5. Your Local
Choosing to eat Southeast Asian cuisine in Makati may not seem exciting, considering you’re already in Southeast Asia. But you have to try out Your Local. Conde Nast Traveler has it listed as one of the world’s best restaurants, and the write-up is a list of what you should try there as well. To quote: “I still dream of the pomelo salad with shrimp, winged beans, wild rocket, yuzu, nam jim, pickled quail eggs, and Thai coconut ‘ice cream.’”
Makati has several transportation options for you. Jeepneys are aplenty, but you can also take buses, FX vans, tricycles, and cabs. Uber and Grab are also options. Makati is also much more walkable than other cities, so don’t be afraid to take a stroll.
There’s no better place to do some shopping than Makati City. You can get your high-end items in its many malls, while several spots in Makati also offer hipster items and organic treats
Made up of Greenbelt 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, this luxury mall has a mix of international luxury brands and boutiques of Filipino designers. If you’re looking for Burberry, Prada, or Balenciaga, Greenbelt is the place to be.
Just a few minutes walk from Greenbelt is Glorietta, which offers some of the same high-end brands as Greenbelt but has more stores that fit the budget of middle-class shoppers. It also has a large central activity area, which often hosts events and concerts.
3. The Collective
Located along Malugay St. in Makati, The Collective is where you go for unique boutiques. It also doubles as an art space and venue for alternative rock performances, so there’s more to do there aside from shop. In fact, with almost all of its walls covered in murals, this former warehouse is an art installation in itself.
4. Legazpi Sunday Market
While it’s only open on the weekend, the Legazpi Sunday Market’s vegan-friendly food, artisanal creations, and other homemade knick-knacks make it worth the wait. The items on sale definitely aren’t available in malls, and this long weekend is the perfect time to enjoy it.
While the shopping is great, Makati isn’t just about that. There are a number of sights you can see, ranging from parks to museums to monuments.
1. Ayala Museum
Connected to Greenbelt 4, the Ayala Museum houses the Gold of Ancestors exhibit, which is definitely worth the P425 admission ticket. The exhibit located on the fourth floor has more than a thousand gold pieces on display from the country’s pre-colonial past.
2. Ayala Triangle Gardens
It’s right in the middle of one of Makati’s busiest intersections, but the Ayala Triangle Gardens provide a green respite from all of that. It’s over 20,000 square meters of green, with the trees ranging from rain trees, golden palms, fire trees, kamuning and podo cerpus. Aside from that, it also hosts public art pieces from some of the country’s leading artists
3. Century City Mall
Yes, a mall isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of sight-seeing. But more than just the shopping, what sets Century City Mall apart is its Mystery Manila Rooms. You have to escape a room in 60 minutes, using only the clues provided to you. It’s definitely an alternative way of spending time at a mall!
4. Yuchengco Museum
Found inside the RCBC Plaza in Ayala Avenue, the Yuchengco Museum has been around for a decade and houses some of the work of a number of Filipino masters. Works by Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, and Carlos “Botong” Francisco are on display, as well as works by more contemporary artists like Anita Magsaysay Ho, Ang Kiukok, and Jose Joya.
5. Museo ng Makati
Housed in Makati’s old town hall, the Museo ng Makati houses artifacts, treasures, and relics of the city’s historical and cultural heritage. The building that houses it is an attraction in itself, a classic old Manila house from the 1800s that’s definitely Instagram worthy.